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Tag Archives: Policing

On-the-spot points for careless driving


The Assault on Liberty continues: Thousands more motorists will lose their licences under plans to give police the power to issue penalty points for careless driving without evidence being heard in court. … Unlike existing fixed-penalty offences, such as speeding and using a hand-held mobile phone at the wheel, the evidence for careless driving is much less clear-cut and is often a matter of the officer’s opinion. At present police must take drivers to court if they want to prosecute […]

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Modern Liberty


Via Spy chief: We risk a police state – Telegraph: Dame Stella [Rimington, ex-head of MI5,] accused ministers of interfering with people’s privacy and playing straight into the hands of terrorists. “Since I have retired I feel more at liberty to be against certain decisions of the Government, especially the attempt to pass laws which interfere with people’s privacy,” Dame Stella said in an interview with a Spanish newspaper. “It would be better that the Government recognised that there are […]

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Recommended reading: “Freedom for Public Services”


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The latest publication from the Centre for Policy Studies arrived today: “Freedom for Public Services” by William Mason and Jonathan McMahon. Better services at lower cost, and more fulfilling jobs for public servants, are quite possible. As ever, this CPS report is intelligent, brief, clear and insightful. The sheer scale of central regulation is shocking even as one who has begun to study the situation. Consider for example the list of regulators for the NHS: The Healthcare Commission Strategic Health […]

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De Menezes case – radical reform of coroner system required


In the Times, further light is thrown on the De Menezes inquest by Tom Luce, who chaired the Fundamental Review of Coroners and Death Certification in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (2001-03): The prohibition in Rule 42 of the Coroners’ Rules on framing any verdict “in such a way as to appear to determine any question of (a) criminal liability on the part of a named person, or (b) civil liability” means that except in cases where a death is […]

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Jean Charles de Menezes inquest: Jury reaches open verdict


From The Telegraph, the jury return an open verdict on the killing of De Menezes: After a three-month hearing costing an estimated £6 million, jurors rejected a verdict that the innocent Brazilian had been killed lawfully by police. They returned an ambigious, open verdict – the only other option they were given after the coroner ruled they could not find that Mr de Menezes was illegally shot dead by officers. For those of us not completely familiar with the nuances […]

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Why the Damian Green affair vacillates between tragedy and farce: the law is a mess


A key problem underlying the Green affair may be that no one really knows what powers the police have of entry and seizure, or ought to have, in Parliament or anywhere else. The CPS paper “Crossing the Threshold” is rather long, but it precisely identifies this problem and proposes a solution. I abridge the paper’s summary and recommendations: The home has traditionally been a privileged space [as has Parliament] for which a legal power of entry is required to enter […]

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David Cameron on the Queen’s speech


A warrant should certainly be necessary to search an MP’s office, and a person’s home too.

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The police are being handcuffed by rules | Magnus Linklater


From The Times: Fifty years ago, in a landmark article for The New Yorker, the American writer Mary McCarthy wrote: “Bureaucracy, the rule of no one, has become the modern despotism.” There is no great evidence to suggest that things have improved since then. Instead, like all despots, it has tightened its grip. read more | digg story

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Yard at war over arrest of Tory MP – Times Online


As the political storm grew, MPs and civil liberties groups questioned the role of Sir Paul Stephenson, who took temporary charge of the Metropolitan police when Sir Ian Blair left office last week. Stephenson was regarded as the favourite to succeed Blair, but one senior police officer described him yesterday as “easy meat”. read more | digg story

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Three police officers beat up handcuffed Iraq war veteran


Naturally, the Mirror uses provocative language in this story, but the video shows behaviour which is utterly shameful. I hope the law does what is necessary to improve our trust in the police. read more | digg story

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